You've probably experienced a dental exam where the dentist spends time scraping away at your teeth. It's called dental scaling and root planning and it's necessary for most patients to keep their teeth and gums healthy.
In the past, scaling was done by hand -- and it's still a common procedure in dentistry today. Performed with a metal instrument known as a scaler, your dentist scrapes your teeth and under your gums to remove what your toothbrush might have missed.
But now there's an easier way for your dentist to give you a gleaming smile! Ultrasonic dental cleaning is available to remove more dental tartar in less time, with no metal scraping!
What to Expect With Ultrasonic Cleaning
During ultrasonic dental cleaning, the dentist uses an instrument called an ultrasonic scaler, or Cavitron®. The Cavitron distributes ultrasonic vibrations to literally blast dental tartar, or dental calculus, off of your teeth! As the ultrasonic scaler vibrates, it produces sound waves to break apart stubborn calculus. Water flows out of the tip's end to wash away debris and keep the scaler from overheating. Although you won't feel the vibrations or hear the sound waves, you'll most likely notice that your teeth feel cleaner. And your dentist will have significantly reduced the amount of dental plaque bacteria that causes most dental diseases.
You might be interested in an ultrasonic cleaning if:
You have a large buildup of dental tartar. Over time, the bacteria and dental plaque in your mouth form hard deposits of calculus, leading to tooth decay if left untreated. Unfortunately, your toothbrush isn't going to help -- only a dentist or dental hygienist can remove calculus from your teeth.
You have periodontal disease. Ultrasonic dental cleaning is used to remove dental calculus from under the gum line as well. As plaque creeps beneath the gums, it forms pockets of calculus that attack the surrounding gum and bone tissue. The result is gum disease, which can eventually lead to tooth loss. Scaling is usually the first type of gum disease treatment used to battle periodontal disease, and it can easily be performed with an ultrasonic dental cleaning system.
What Are The Benefits Of Ultrasonic Dental Cleaning?
Ultrasonic dental cleaning offers both the dentist and patient several benefits:
Ultrasonic cleaning should be combined with hand scaling for optimal effects. The ultrasonic scaler is primarily designed to remove only large deposits of dental calculus, leaving your dentist to manually remove any tartar that's left behind.
Because of the use of sound waves, ultrasonic cleaning may not be an option for patients with pacemakers. Be sure to inform your dentist of any medical conditions or prescriptions you're taking before undergoing any dental procedure.